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The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon

Mission / Aims

The Arts Council is the national agency for funding, developing and promoting the arts in Ireland.  The Arts Council Arts and Health Policy and Strategy outlines the values that underpin its approach to arts and health practice, and strategic actions for the five-year period 2010–2014.

The Arts Council understands arts and health to be a generic term embracing a range of arts practices occurring primarily in healthcare settings, which bring together the skills and priorities of both arts and health professionals. Good arts and health practice is characterised by a clear artistic vision, goals and outcomes.  It aims to promote health and wellbeing by improving quality of life and cultural access in healthcare settings.

Within the Arts Council, arts and health is the responsibility of the Arts Participation Team.  Arts participation is a core value across all areas of the Arts Council’s work as reflected in Developing the Arts in Ireland: Arts Council strategic overview 2011-2013, which commits to increasing public access, participation and engagement in the arts, as well as assisting artists of all disciplines to make work of excellence. This includes artists working in the area of arts and health.

Areas of activities

The Arts Council funds a number a number of key agencies that have a central role in supporting the practice and development of arts and health. Two such organisations are Helium and Waterford Healing Arts Trust . The Arts Council also offers a wide range of financial supports to organisations and individual practitioners across artforms and arts practices, including arts and health. The supports available are described in the financial support section of the Arts Council website. They include arts participation bursaries, projects and travel and training awards, and the Artist in the Community Scheme, which is managed externally by Create the national development agency for collaborative arts.

The Arts Council has also commissioned, assisted or published reports and studies in the area of arts and health, and organised a range of regional, national and international events in order to advocate for and raise awareness of the value of arts and health practice. Vital Signs, a series of events that took place in October 2009, is one example of an Arts Council strategic development initiative in the area of arts and health. Vital Signs was delivered in partnership with Create. Please see the Arts Council website for further information on any of the above.


All artforms


Ann O'Connor
Arts and Health Adviser


The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon
70 Merrion Sq.
Dublin 2


+353 1 6180200



Web Address


Dublin North East

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